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Catholic schools

Catholic schools have grown and change along with the community since the 19th Century

By Anne Marie Starowitz


Several articles have been written on the early public schools from this area, including those still in use today.  When the very first schools were built, Catholic schools were also built alongside their churches.

Rev. Thomas Cunningham established the first Catholic school in 1873. He became the first priest to settle permanently in the village. With him came six Sisters of Mercy.  The sisters lived in the Davis Building on Jackson Street that served as their convent until 1873.  The sisters started a school in a barn next to the convent.  Due to a fire, the sisters had to move the school to a large stone building on Jackson Street that became Marshall News Store many years later.

In 1882 St. Joseph’s Parish began to build a new school and convent on Summit and East Main Street.  It was a solid unadorned building with a small turret over the front door and little towers on the front corners.  It had four rooms on the first floor for the younger students and three rooms above for the older children.  High school students were enrolled at the school until 1912.  Music lessons were taught in small spaces in the corridors.

St. Joseph’s School served as a parochial elementary school until 1959.  The building was listed as unsafe for young children, so in the fall of 1959, a new school with twelve classrooms and a cafeteria was built.  The old school was razed.  In 1973 office space and a new gymnasium and assembly hall were added to the eastern side of the new school.

Rev. Peter Pitass started Sacred Heart School in 1904 when he organized Sacred Heart Parish.  The school’s classrooms were ready for pupils by 1918.  Those classrooms served the Polish community until the flood of 1942. The school and church were located at the foot of Jackson Street.   By 1954 the school was also deemed a fire hazard, and plans were drawn up for a new school and church.  The new school would be located east of the church facing Sumner Street.  By the end of the year, a new fireproofed school building was built for $8,000.00.

In 1904 approximately 20 students were enrolled at Sacred Heart School.  By 1934 the number had increased to about 60 students, and registration remained at about that level until the ‘60s. Then, in the ‘60s, enrollment began to decrease. Finally, in 1974 enrollment was so small that Sacred Heart School merged with St. Anthony’s. Thus, after 70 years, there was no longer a school in the Sacred Heart Parish.

In 1908 Rev. Hyacinthe Ciabbatoni brought two Sisters of Mercy to Batavia to organize a school.  In 1909 property was bought on Liberty Street at Central Avenue; members of the parish put together two old houses to serve as a school and a parish hall.  In 1930 a new school was built by Frank Homelius, one of Batavia’s native architects.  He designed a school building with two floors, a social hall, and a gymnasium behind it.  It was dedicated as St. Anthony’s Community Center.  It was the most prominent meeting place in the city.  The school had nine classrooms on two floors along central corridors, with offices on either main entrance.  The basement had a nursery room, kitchen, and lavatories.  It was a T-shaped building with a gymnasium used for athletics and as a meeting hall or a dining room.  This community center was used for political rallies, union meetings, Grange meetings, fundraising, and Bingo. Many a bride will remember having her wedding reception at the Community Center with dinner on one floor and dancing on another.  

By 1908 there were between 200 and 250 students enrolled at St. Anthony’s School.  By 1970, 7th and 8th-grade students attended St. Mary’s, where junior high classes were offered.   In June 2006, St. Anthony’s School closed its doors after 95 years as an educational and social activity center on Batavia’s south side. 

Rev. Edward J. Ferger established St. Mary’s Elementary School when he organized the building of a Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, in 1951.  The school opened before the buildings were complete.  The first-year students met at St. Anthony’s Community Center for classes until the school was finished.  In 1952 St. Mary’s school was built and faced Woodrow Road. St. Mary’s had eight classrooms and a small gym in a separate building.  Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first teachers at St. Mary’s, and then the school was run by the Felician Sisters.   At the end of the 2003-2004 academic year, St. Mary’s Elementary School closed its doors due to limited financial resources and fewer students.

In 1951 Notre Dame High School welcomed its first class of 58 boys and girls to temporary quarters at St. Anthony’s School.  Notre Dame High School was dedicated on September 6, 1952.  The school has two floors with classrooms along Union Street and a large gymnasium in the rear.  A cafeteria is below the gym.  A small chapel and library are on the second floor.   In the early years, Notre Dame’s faculty consisted of nuns and priests.  There were times when up to 500 students walked the halls between classes with one-way traffic jamming corridors. Over the years, Notre Dame’s enrollment has fluctuated, but today it remains an alternative to public school education.    

All students will remember the attractive uniforms the girls had to wear.  Sacred Heart had a plaid jumper, St. Anthony’s a brown uniform, St. Joseph’s a blue uniform, and St. Mary’s girls wore a blue jumper crossed in the front and the back.        The actual everyday uniform at Notre Dame HS was a pleated skirt and a long-sleeved blouse buttoned to the neck, and to add to the uniform’s lovely appearance was a bolero. If you rolled over the waistband of the skirt to make it shorter, you would get detention.  Besides the unattractive uniforms, some might remember the classrooms overflowing with students, singing Gregorian chant at Mass, attending a High Mass on Sunday, and no meat on Friday. 

One could also not forget the Notre Dame Girls’ Basketball uniform the girls had to wear in the ‘50s and ‘60s.   The uniform was a royal blue, pleated, heavy cotton jumper that had to touch your knees, a long-sleeved white blouse that had to be buttoned at the top, and bloomers. The inspiring girls’ basketball team had only two girls who could run down the court, and the rest could take three steps and pass the ball.  It made for a very “fast-moving” game.  The windows had to be covered when the girls were playing just in case a “boy” might try to look in the window.    

Over the last century, schools were established, moved, burned down, and closed.  Many of these schools closed due to low enrollment, but the memories these students hold in their hearts remain. A young girl remembers living next to old St. Joseph’s School, sneaking over to the old school, and peeking in the windows.  A nun would let her come in and sit and color.  Her older siblings all attended the school.  In the early days at St. Joseph’s School, there was not a gymnasium. Instead, students would gather every day on the blacktop in the parking lot and jump rope or shoot baskets on the outdoor basketball court.

Grade school, high school, it didn’t matter if it was a public or private school; the memories would be the same. So many will still be in touch with that special friend they hung around with in grade school and possibly high school.  Stories get better with age as they are told over and over again. 

Today St. Joseph Regional School is the only Catholic elementary school left in Batavia. Yet, it offers everything the public schools provide.  Notre Dame High School still proudly stands on Union Street, graduating boys and girls on the same grounds their parents and grandparents stood many years ago.





Holy Family School was shining beacon for Le Roy, Western New York

By Daniel Crofts

Le Roy's Holy Family School closed its doors for the last time a couple of weeks ago, but the school will long be remembered for the outstanding staff and students who graced its hallways and classrooms, for the positive community atmosphere it enjoyed, and for what it meant to local families during its 123-year history.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Hansen

There were 10 students in the final graduating class of the school at 46 Lake St., which was attached to Our Lady of Mercy Parish and served pupils in pre-K through eighth-grade. Students came not only from Le Roy, but also from elsewhere in Genesee County as well as Wyoming, Livingston and Monroe counties.

Photo courtesy of the Le Roy Historical Society

The school has seen a lot of changes -- including a change in its name -- since it was first staffed by the Sisters of Mercy more than 120 years ago (see the  timeline of milestones at the end of this story). Throughout all of these changes, its tradition of academic excellence and thriving school family remained much the same.

People who were part of the Holy Family community are filled with sadness, but also with fond memories and hope for the future.

Here are some stories that give an idea of just how special a place Holy Family was:

Michael Ficarella

Michael Ficarella, of Batavia, was hired as a sixth- through eighth-grade teacher at Holy Family School for the 2011-2012 school year. It was his first full-time teaching job.

"I couldn't have picked a better school to start (teaching)," Ficarella said.

He talked about the supportive team of teachers who welcomed and helped him throughout the year.

"From real early on, they were always coming by my room to see how I was doing, offering pointers on how to make this or that lesson better or how to make the classroom run smoother, etcetera."

In addition to teaching science and social studies, Ficarella also worked with younger students in the school's after-school program. During his brief time at Holy Family, he got to know a lot of kids.

"The students were great," he said. "They were well-mannered, very eager to learn and took pride in their school."

He mentioned the eighth-grade field trip to Washington, D.C., on which the kids were "phenomenal."

Despite losing his job his first year teaching, Ficarella said he is "absolutely 100 percent" glad of the experience and has no regrets.

The Hansen Family

Photo courtesy of Kelly Hansen

One of Ficarella's students was Alex Hansen, who was part of Holy Family School's final graduating class. He attended the school from kindergarten through eighth-grade.

"(The graduation) was bittersweet," said Kelly Hansen, Alex's mother. "What we were witnessing was never to take place at Holy Family School ever again."

"There were many 'lasts' over the past few months. It was very difficult for everyone as the adults tried to make the last days of school the best they could possibly be."

Hansen said that the decision she and her husband made to send Alex to Holy Family was "curious to some because we live in Batavia."

"The answer is never an easy one," she said, "but it always contains the same elements. The high test scores, great word-of-mouth, a place where God could be mentioned without fear of ridicule, not to mention a stellar reputation within the community for more than one hundred years."

She and her husband were also impressed with the parish to which the school was connected, which was called St. Peter's at the time.

"I'm not sure there would be a way to calculate the grand sum from the parish that has kept the school afloat for 123 years," she said.

Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Mercy Parish Secretary Sue Bobo

Of course, the school environment was also a major factor in the decision.

"We were impressed with what we saw the day we first visited," Hansen said. "Children holding the door for us as we came and went, walking down the halls and having students greet us without an adult to prompt them, students standing and greeting adults as they entered a classroom -- all this left us knowing that we were making the right decision for our family."

Second-grade teacher Patty Page is pictured with her granddaughter at a Halloween party at Holy Family School. Photo courtesy of Sue Bobo.

As for the teachers, their "commendable dedication" has left an impression on Hansen.

"Many teachers at (Holy Family School) have taught for 20 or more years," she said. "Catholic school teachers are state certified yet make a small fraction of what their public school counterparts do. They clearly are not in their chosen profession for the money -- it is something they do because they love it."

She sees this as part of a pattern of sacrifices that everyone involved in the Catholic school system makes for what they consider the greater good.

"Most families who choose to send their children to a Catholic school quietly go without things other families take for granted so that their children may reap the abundant benefits," she said.

"We’ve had the same car over the course of all nine years (of Alex attending Holy Family School). It is a bit rustier and a lot noisier. It has driven from Batavia to Le Roy hundreds of times, often carrying multiple students to one event or another."

"To pay for education that could otherwise be obtained for free at a public school is a bizarre choice to some," she said. "But for us it was the only option we could imagine. Anyone familiar with Catholic education knows about the sacrifices made in order for it to be possible."

The Winters Family

Photo courtesy of Bryan Winters

When first-grader Anna Rose Winters learned that her school would be closing, she was very sad. But then the first question that came out of her mouth was: "What are the uniforms like at St. Joe's?"

Anna Rose, like other Holy Family students, will attend St. Joseph School in Batavia in the fall.

"She went through the normal grief stages," said her father, Bryan Winters. "There were tears, but then she very quickly started to incorporate St. Joe's."

Winters was on Holy Family School's Finance Committee for several months, which put Anna Rose in a "unique situation."

"She's a smart kid -- she could read the writing on the wall," he said. "We were honest with her from the beginning that her school could close, but we'd try our best."

And try they did. According to Winters, who makes his living raising money for the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, the committees formed by parents to help save the school "were doing all the right things."

"It's remarkable how much money we were able to raise with the time constraint," he said. "But there were a lot of needs-based scholarships (and other expenses that could not be met with the current student enrollment)."

Like his daughter, Winters also went through the grieving process. But he has a "very great feeling" about St. Joe's and is optimistic about Anna Rose's future.

"(Of course), there are families who have been at Holy Family for three or four generations," he said. "Their grieving process is probably longer, and that's understandable. But I need to think of the best interests of my daughter. We're going to get fully involved in St. Joe's."

Bryan and Kate Winters moved to Le Roy from Monroe County a few years ago. Holy Family School was the main reason for their move.

Having just started a family, they wanted to move to the country to give their kids (they have two younger children in addition to Anna Rose) some "breathing room." But they also wanted to make sure the kids received a Catholic education.

"We looked around Western New York and the Finger Lakes region," Winters said. "We toured different schools in Livingston and Monroe counties, and even some in Erie County."

They were very selective in their search, because everything in their lives is a "distant second to our kids."

When they went to an open house at Holy Family, "that sealed the deal."

"That was where we knew we felt at home (at Holy Family)," Winters said. "We learned about the different programs and the curriculum -- they had a very rigorous program. We liked the student-teacher ratio. It was primarily for that reason that we moved to Le Roy."

With three years as a Holy Family parent under his belt, Winters still sings the school's praises loudly.

"It blows my mind that there were people around here who didn't send their kids to Holy Family," he said. "They must not have known what we had there."

Pictured Principal Kevin Robertson with Mrs. Page's second-grade class. Photo courtesy of Sue Bobo.

Like Ficarella and Hansen, he touted the supportive atmosphere the school offered.

"We could call or email any time, and (the issue) was taken care of," he said. "There was a real family feel, whether it was students with teachers or families with teachers. It was an open community."

Part of this openness was the teachers' willingness to share personal stories with their students.

"Every once in a while Anna Rose would share a story at dinner about a teacher's dog, or about Mrs. So-and-So's son getting into a certain college," Winters said. "The fact that these teachers would recognize (for example) that a first-grader wants to hear stories about a dog means a lot. It goes back to that feeling of family."

Winters' wife is a teacher, so the two of them "have a pretty good pulse on what a good teacher is."

"And these teachers -- they had it," he said.

And the students weren't bad, either.

"The Holy Family slogan was 'Teaching Tomorrow's Leaders,' and I think that's what they were doing," Winters said.

He commented on how the kids would hold doors for people and demonstrate politeness in other ways.

"All that stuff goes above and beyond two plus two," he said. "It was about more than just standardized testing; the focus was on growing the student as a person. It was built into the curriculum."

Anna Rose is excited about going to St. Joe's, but she and her family will always have fond memories of Holy Family School.

STORY CONTINUES after the jump (click the headline to read more):

A Brief History in Pictures

Holy Family's original name was St. Peter's School, after the church with which it was affiliated (St. Peter's Church became Our Lady of Mercy Parish in 2008). The school was placed in the charge of the Sisters of Mercy, who lived in Batavia and commuted every day by train the first year.

A photo of St. Peter's academic department in the early 1900s. Photo courtesy of the Le Roy Historical Society, originally published in the Le Roy Gazette.

St. Peter's grew significantly between its founding in 1889 and 1955, when it was expanded to serve the children of both Catholic parishes in Le Roy (the other one being St. Joseph's Church). At that point, it was renamed "Holy Family School."

Note: Unless otherwise specified, all of the following were published in the Batavia Daily News and obtained courtesy of the Le Roy Historical Society:

Photo published in the Holy Family School Newsletter

Over the years, Holy Family slowly made the transition from a parochial school to a regional school. Hansen said that by the time it closed, "only 40 percent of the students were from Le Roy, with remaining students coming from Wyoming, Livingston and Monroe counties."

Regional schools have different requirements than parochial schools, including, according to Hansen, a "suggested class size (of) 20-25 students per grade level."

Take that, the fact that the school was staffed by state certified teachers instead of religious sisters receiving a modest stipend (which kept tuition costs low), and the population decrease in our area, and you get a good idea of the reason for Holy Family School's closure.

For more information on Holy Family School's history, please see the timeline at the bottom of this story.

Here are some pictures of the school through the years, courtesy of Sue Bobo and the Le Roy Historical Society:

Graduating class of 1957

Graduating class of 1965

Graduating class of 1978

Thank you to the interviewees, Sue Bobo and the Le Roy Historical Society for the information and pictures.

Timeline: Holy Family School:

  • 1849 -- Rev. Edward Dillon founds St. Peter's Catholic Church in Le Roy.
  • 1852 -- Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald, Rev. Dillon's successor as pastor, begins collecting funds to enlarge parish in response to rapid membership growth.
  • 1857 -- Temporary parish school established by Rev. James McGlew in the church basement.        
  • July 1889 -- Work is begun on new school behind St. Peter's Church (now called "the annex").
  • Sept. 2, 1889 -- St. Peter's School opens, with the Sisters of Mercy recruited to teach.
  • Early 1900s -- St. Peter's School has enrollment of 260 students.
  • Feb. 14, 1907 -- Most Rev. Charles H. Colton, bishop of Buffalo, administers Sacrament of Confirmation in Le Roy; large number of Italian-American residents ask for their own "National" (or ethnic) parish.
  • Feb. 16, 1907 -- Bishop Colton sends Rev. Joseph A. Gambino to establish St. Joseph's Church.
  • 1913 -- Significant improvements to St. Peter's Church and School.
  • 1955 -- St. Joseph's and St. Peter's unite to build a new school building to serve all Catholic children in Le Roy. Upon completion, St. Peter's School is renamed Holy Family School.
  • Sept. 23, 1956 -- Holy Family School is officially dedicated by Most Rev. Leo R. Smith, an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo.
  • 1965 -- Gymnasium is built in the school.
  • 1989 -- Holy Family School is run mostly by laypeople rather than nuns.
  • 1993 -- Barbara McVean becomes the first layperson to serve as principal of Holy Family School.
  • 1990s -- 2000s -- Holy Family School begins to serve students from other communities as neighboring Catholic schools close.  Children from elsewhere in Genesee County as well as from Wyoming, Livingston and Monroe counties attend the school.
  • 2008 -- St. Joseph's and St. Peter's merge as Our Lady of Mercy Parish.
  • 2009 -- 2010 -- Under diocesan plan, Holy Family School transitions from parochial to regional school.
  • 2011 -- Parents establish the Holy Family School Finance/Fund Raising Committee to try saving the school from closure.
  • 2012 -- Holy Family School closes in spite of valiant student, parent and teacher efforts.
  • June 8, 2012 -- The Holy Family School Choir performs for the last time in public at the Le Roy Bicentennial Celebration; receives standing ovation.

Previous coverage of Holy Family School:

Mancuso's hosts Holy Family School, of Le Roy, for Catholic Schools Week

Pictures: Holy Family and St. Joe's kids

Students at Holy Family learning and having fun with art

Husband and wife to be honored for work at St. Joseph School

By Daniel Crofts

It was the end of a very hectic day at St. Joseph School in Batavia. The building was nearly empty, and teachers John and Margaret Volpe were finally on their way home when Principal Karen Green approached them and said: "Oh by the way, you know that award (NBC newsman) Tim Russert started that they give out every year? You two won it this year."

Who and what

Russert, who died in 2008, was a former Catholic school student. He created the Making a Difference Award for the purpose of honoring former teachers who had an impact on his life. It is given annually to a Catholic school teacher in the diocese of Buffalo.

"We had no idea we were even being considred," John said.

Green's announcement that they had won this award was a surprise for another reason as well: It's only supposed to go to one person each year.

This is the first time two teachers are receiving the award together. Green nominated both John and Margaret, who teach sixth- through eighth-graders at the Summit Street school, after finding herself unable to choose between them.

"After working with John and Margaret as a teacher and then observing them as a principal," she said, "I can say that when it comes to making a difference in students' lives, that's exactly what they do. It's a daily occurrence, and you can see it in how the kids relate to them."

High expectations

John and Margaret teach social studies and English, respectively. Green commented that they spend a lot of extra time preparing for each week's lessons and always make sure to update their teaching tools and styles to make learning more exciting for the kids (using the latest classroom technology, etc).

Academically, the kids in John and Margaret's classes are held to high standards and, in Green's words, are "always busy."

In Mrs. Volpe's English class, students are continually honing their writing skills with weekly literature logs and various writing assignments throughout each grading period. As a result, they typically leave St. Joe's with excellent writing skills and high expectations for their academic performances.

"I like to see the students desire and expect a lot of themselves, and not just settle for crummy work," Margaret said.

In Mr. Volpe's social studies class, students become engaged in the material by discussing it in relation to current events -- which is one area of instruction where new technology comes in handy.

Commenting on the availability of news online, John said: "An event can happen on, say, Thursday morning, and I can present it to the class by that afternoon."

He enjoys the "give-and-take" relationship he has with his students, who are still young enough to question things rather than being strictly "goal-oriented."

"My hope for them is that they will ask questions and pursue the answers," he said. "And I hope they'll explore things a bit instead of just automatically accepting the obvious answers."

Not only do John and Margaret have expectations for their students in terms of academics and conduct, they also consistently follow through with those expectations.

"I've seen very few discipline problems on their side of the hall," Green said. "Their students know they need to behave a certain way, and that there will be consequences if they don't."

Beyond the books...

The Volpes' committment to their students extends beyond the classroom. Margaret oversees the school newspaper staff. John is in charge of the student debate team (both of which meet every week), and the couple spends a lot of time with students who need extra help after school.

Additionally, Margaret serves on the school's Academic Excellence Committee, which is designed to offer students educational opportunities that they would not get in the classroom. It also helps provide particularly gifted students with more opportunities to challenge themselves. Activities the committee sponsors include the annual spelling bee, Career Day, and peer tutoring.

Colleagues have benefitted from the Volpes' presence at St. Joe's as well as the students. John, for example, acts as assistant principal on days when Green is out of the building, serves as a "backup" for the other teachers and helps with discipline when needed.

Even as their boss, Green goes to the Volpes for advice every now and again.

Formerly a St. Joe's teacher, Green's experience is mostly with younger students. When she started her job as principal, she was a bit...well, green when it came to working with the older kids.

"John and Margaret have so much experience, so I always go to them for help and trust their judgment."

A great team

The Volpes have worked in Catholic education together for more than 40 years, and have taught at St. Joe's for more than 20 years. They met in the early 1970s as teachers at the Cathedral School in Buffalo, and were married not long after.

While combining professional and personal relationships can be awkward, the Volpes have found that, in their case, the two reinforce one another.

"There's that kind of natural trust you have going into the job (when you work with your spouse)," John said. "I know that if I have a problem, I can talk to Margaret about it. And as a teacher, I think I've learned more working with Margaret than anyone else. She's very inventive and creative, and she's helped me all along."

Likewise, Margaret has always had tremendous respect for her husband on a professional level.

"Since before we were married, I've noticed that John has an unusual rapport with the kids," she said. "He has a certain warmth (with his students) that I notice right up to today, and I've learned from that."

Without wanting to "overstate (the) influence" she and her husband have on the kids' lives, Margaret said that working with the students at St. Joe's is almost like raising a family.

"I notice that in eighth-grade, the kids form even closer friendships than before," she said. "And I really think John helps to foster that."

From Green's perspective, the Volpes' working relationship as husband and wife sets a positive example for their students.

"To see a married couple working side-by-side and having such a healthy relationship is good for the kids, especially in an age when a lot of families seem to be falling apart."

In the right place

St. Joseph School offers the Volpes an environment in which they feel they are able to "flourish" more than any place else. For one thing, the majority of kids who attend St. Joe's come from what Margaret called "very solid families."

The students themselves, according to Green, are what "make St. Joe's such a wonderful place to work," to which Margaret replied, "Amen!"

John, for his part, talked about how impressed he has been with the way in which the kids welcome and accept new students.

"Each year, within a very short time, new students are assimilated and welcomed."

Teaching at a Catholic school is also very important to both John and Margaret, the latter having come from a family of six children who attended Catholic schools from grade school all the way through college.

"I remember my father would work two or three jobs to put us all through Catholic school," she said, "and he never let up. That always left a big impression on me."

Margaret has always felt that Catholic education should be a choice for parents and families. And she always knew that if no one was willing to accept the sacrifice of a smaller salary (compared to a public school teacher's salary) and teach at a Catholic school, then that option would be gone.

In terms of how things are done, John and Margaret like the discipline and focus on values that Catholic education offers, while at the same time emphasizing the development of skills.

"There's a basic emphasis on value (in Catholic education) instead of just fact and procedure," John said. "And it's nice that we're able to talk about religion. (As a Catholic school teacher), you incorporate the values of religion into your lessons without 'preaching' religion."

John and his students talk about current events with concern for ethical issues and implications. 

"I enjoy being able to do that, rather than having to stay neutral on everything."

Margaret's students explore Catholic values in many of their writing assignments. After a visit to Genesee ARC, for example, they wrote an essay about how their faith teaches compassion toward, and acceptance of, people with special needs.

Faith also comes into play with the teaching of literature. Margaret and her students discuss the books they read with religion in mind, asking what a practicing Christian would do in a given character's situation. Margaret also works with parents in determining which books are good for the kids to read, and which are not.

"There are books out there that promote the wrong values and glorify bad behavior," Margaret said. "I tell the kids that certain books they might be reading (on their own time) aren't good for them, and I work with parents to determine what's appropriate. And the parents are right on board with it."

A fitting tribute

John and Margaret will receive their award at the 2011 Making a Difference Dinner, which is next Thursday -- Jan. 27 -- at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Buffalo.

Two tables will be filled by those coming to support them, including family members, parents and faculty (including Batavia City Council President Marianne Clattenberg, who teaches third-grade at St. Joe's).

Green was very happy that the Volpes will be recognized for their work with the students.

"'The school wouldn't run as well as it does without them," she said. "They do an amazing job here, and I don't think they're told that often enough."

St. Joe's hosts 21st annual Penny Carnival

By Daniel Crofts

The Penny Carnival is one of the biggest fundraisers at St. Joseph's School on 2 Summit St. It is open to the public and will be held at the school from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 20.

The carnival features games, inflatables, food, prizes, raffles and a $1,000 cash giveway. There are also some new features this year, like the Slam 'N Jam inflatable for basketball fans, Sponge Bob Bowling, and the raffling off of an iPod TOUCH with accessories.

Event Date and Time

2009 Genesee County Youth Bureau Award Recipients

By Notre Dame

2009 Genesee County Youth Bureau Award Recipients

ND Seniors Sean Zawicki ‘09, son of Dr. Joseph and Ann Zawicki of Elba, Craig Houseknecht ‘09, son of Tom and Lynn Houseknecht of Batavia, and Kate Spadaccia ‘09, daughter of Larry and Denise Spadaccia of Batavia have been named recipients of the prestigious 2009 Genesee County Youth Bureau Recognition Awards. These awards recognize Genesee County youth who give of their own time through community service activities to help others. The awards were bestowed at the April 2, 2009 Genesee County Youth Board Dinner at the Holiday Inn in Batavia. Congratulations on the receipt of this outstanding honor! The Notre Dame Family is proud of you!

L to R: Sean Zawicki ’09, Craig Houseknecht ’09 and Kate Spadaccia ‘09


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